Best practices of cloud-based co-location in 5 industries
By Carol Ko 13-Mar-2012
What are the three biggest misconceptions about co-location?
Smith: The three biggest misconceptions are:
1. Co-location consists of just space and power;
2. All co-location providers are the same; and
3. Virtualization and cloud computing will lead to the demise of co-location.
How can organizations fulfil the needs of co-location, while meeting data jurisdiction requirements and regulatory compliance?
Smith: Organizations can fulfill the needs of co-location, while meeting data jurisdiction requirements and regulatory compliance by only working with co-location providers that meet the organization's data jurisdiction requirements and regulatory compliance needs.
Co-location can be provided in the form of locked cabinets in a multi-tenant data center area, but in many cases regulatory compliance and local justification relevant to the organizations industry make this a prohibitive solution. That being said co-location providers offer a much wider variety of configuration options to enable customers to work towards the relevant standards. These include biometric access, caged areas, increased CCTV and private data center suites that give an organization sole access. In addition many providers have a wealth of experience and expertise to advise customers on potential options that may assist with achieving the relevant compliance standards.
Give examples of how co-location needs can be fulfilled through the use of cloud computing, in these industry verticals: finance, media, government, retail and telco.
Smith: Co-location needs apply to all of these industry verticals. Here are just a few examples:
a) The financial industry
The finance industry faces regulatory constraints. Data center providers have to receive the appropriate approvals from regulators. In the context of Singapore, for privacy and security reasons, most organizations choose to implement a private cloud infrastructure instead of a public cloud.
A global trading firm that was using a mass market cloud service provider found it needed to tie its cloud back into its physical infrastructure.
The service provider couldn't handle the request, so the firm went to Savvis for the solution. Through Savvis' converged cloud network, the firm has private access to the cloud. With a physical presence in a Savvis data center, the firm can easily 'flip' connected clouds on and off. As an added benefit, this firm also has access to Savvis' financial market ecosystem, in which financial firms are housed in close proximity.
b) The media industry
In the media industry, depending on the type of content, ownership of content is important. The media industry is open to a hybrid and/or open cloud approach and this is where Savvis offers its consultancy services to meet their requirements.
c) Government agencies
For governments, due to the sensitive nature of its content, a private cloud approach is typical. However, governments are open to private dedicated cloud hosted in cloud providers for better performance and reliability in disseminating information across their agencies and the general public.
"Co-location can be provided in the form of locked cabinets in a multi-tenant data center area, but in many cases regulatory compliance and local justification relevant to the organizations industry make this a prohibitive solution."
-- Mark Smith, managing director, Savvis Asia
The UK Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has access to Savvis' Government Wide Service (GWS), an infrastructure-as-a-service platform available to all government departments and third-party suppliers in the UK
GWS provides a solution for government agencies looking toward a "G-Cloud" model of hosted, reduced-cost IT operations and services.
The MoJ will use the secure platform for its enterprise resource planning system, which will deliver transactional and professional services to more than 80,000 users as part of MoJ's Common Operating Model for human resources, finance, purchase and payroll systems.
It is scheduled to be fully operational by spring 2013.
d) The retail industry
For the retail industry, as it is a more transactional driven, efficiency, speed and reliability are important factors. As such, depending on the nature of the business, and its transactions, public, hybrid and private clouds are all possible options.
Hallmark Cards relies on Savvis for a full range of managed services including co-location and cloud computing. In addition to keeping the Hallmark.com website up during huge traffic spikes experienced during critical business periods, Savvis supports Hallmark's online products and services with a high-performing and scalable platform.
e) The telco industry
The telco industry has realized the benefits of having a cloud offering for their various applications and networks. Hence they have opted to build their own cloud or embark on merger and acquisition in recent years.
Virgin Media Business resells Savvis Symphony Virtual Private Data Centre (VPDC) cloud solutions to its small and medium business customers. This arrangement gives Virgin an instant cloud platform that its client base can leverage.